The ARE is a marathon of an exam (six exams total). Studying tips and timelines for taking the exam vary from person to person. There is no one-size-fits-all approach; you do you. Having said that, here are a few tips I can offer based on my experience with the exams:
● Know what happens in each phase and when. Per the B101 contract, the architect offers certain basic services. Know how and when they start and stop. There may be questions where the answer seems correct, but it is during the wrong phase.
● Read the exam questions carefully. The clock is ticking with the exam, but this is not an exam to skim through and knock off answers. As noted above, the complexity is in the details of the question.
● You don’t have to start the exam right away. The exam begins when you hit the button to start. Use the time to take a breath or write things down on the paper you will receive at the testing center. Use the time to enter the exam calmly.
● Know your stuff. The ARE tests understanding/application and analysis/evaluation. Often, questions are not about specifics, but are situational. It is essential to have a thorough understanding of roles and responsibilities.
● Strategize about the exam. There are many ways to take the exam and a system may help. Some test-takers go through the case studies first, and some leave them for last. Whatever you choose, the exam itself is a strategy. Devise a game plan while taking practice exams so you will know your flow going into an exam. You don’t want the clock to dictate whether you pass or fail.
● Know your resources. The exam offers resources such as formulas and documentation to accompany the case studies.
● The exam is not parts, but a whole. The ARE may be presented in sections, but it is a whole. You do not need to take the exam linearly, but can jump around and access all parts and resources for every question.